Since everyone else is jumping off a bridge…

I, too, shall rank the Castle Rock books.

Spoilers and another dumb list follow after the jump.

  1. Bag of Bones – This haunted love story is equally full of haunting as it is of love. King is at his best here, wrapping mystery in horror in dread as several intertwined stories unfold. An excellent read and quite scary.
  2. Lisey’s Story – Similar to Bag of Bones, this novel unravels a fascinating mystery and its female protagonist is a welcome breath of fresh air.
  3. The Dead Zone – Most people don’t remember this one as being scary because the movie was more of a thriller. The book is awash with existential dread and truly terrifying moments, all of them cast like stones on a puddle of sadness and loss.
  4. The Body – This was the novella that made me wonder if King had some kind of eidetic memory. His ability to recall with such clarity what school days and boyhood were like was just amazing. Then I remembered that writers have a tendency to “remember” in stories and realized almost everything in the story is exaggerated from a child’s point of view. That doesn’t hurt the story at all, it’s a masterful telling of childhood trauma (second only to Low Men In Yellow Coats).
  5. Needful Things – Not my favorite book. Much of it felt┬áde rigueur, but still interesting and in places quite funny.
  6. Gwendy’s Button Box – Hasn’t come out yet, I don’t think. I haven’t read it but the summary I found has me filled with anticipation.
  7. Cujo – Probably my least favorite King novel. Many people love it, but it intersected my life at the onset of middle age and the workman-like story overlapped with a craving in me for bold colors. I turned to Peter Straub a lot during this time.
  8. The Dark Half – This one just didn’t appeal to me at all. Sometimes when you put out one or more books a year, you just don’t have time to put the necessary heart and soul into them. This one felt empty and rote to me.

There you go. You may now return to what you were doing.

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